Monday 25 February 2019

Chhatrapati Shivaji - 6

Great God Ganapati, salutations! God, let there be no obstructions!

Shahajiraje sent Jijau and Shivaji to Pune to administer the Pune Jehagir. Raje was then seven years old. (In the first quarter of 1637). There were two mansions in Pune built earlier by Malojiraje. But Adilshah's troops had ruined Pune in 1630. The emperor's army had wrought murder and mayhem. Pune was like a graveyard. Complete annihilation. Sultan had razed the once beautiful Pune to ashes.

Jijau came to such desolate Pune with the young King. To keep accounts of such a barren sector and to improve it, Dadoji Konddeo Malthankar had accomplanied her. The old man was very clever, devoted and disciplined. He was strict by nature but equally loving. Confronting the awful state of Pune, Jijau decided to change its pathetic condition. Dadoji was there to help. It was decided to make a begining. And what a coincidence! In Vinayakbhat Thakar's house, in a small alcove was God Ganapati's idol. He sat suffering, retreated in corner enduring heat and rains.Jijau heard this story and so she went to pay her respects to this Lord Ganesha. This then was the beginning. Jijau ordered Dadoji to build a temple of Ganapati. Really nice temple, paved with stones.

Dadoji began in real earnest. He soon got the Ganesh temple ready. Not only Jijau and Shivaji, but also entire Pune worshipped this deity. This is the famous Kasba Ganapati. It was as if the rebuilding of Pune began with the veneration of Ganapati. Jijau make excellent arrangements of Lord's service and daily worship. She made royal letters to hand over this responsibility to Vedic scholar Vinayakbhat Thakar and his family. Pious hymns and pleasant instruments started playing. And then families scattered in all directions due to the torture by Sultan's soldiers, and cows and calves came under the the soothing shade of the Lord Ganesha and Shivaji's red palace.....Lalmahal.

To be continue......

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